featuring former members of ELO and ELO Part II
Intro: It All Began With The MOVE
I was never a big ELO fan. I was a huge MOVE
fan and for those of you who don't know the history, ELO was started by
Roy Wood and Bev Bevan, founding members of the MOVE, with late joining
member Jeff Lynne. The MOVE were one of the most innovative pop bands in
England and Roy Wood one of England's best songwriters, right up there
with Lennon-McCartney, Jagger-Richards and Ray Davies. Though they never
had a top ten hit in America their hits were plentiful in the UK. As the
history of the band was winding down, Jeff Lynne joined Roy and Bev, the
last remaining members of the band for their two final albums; Looking
On which is my favorite and Message from the Country, another
The MOVE (or most likely the record company)
released Split Ends, concidered by critics to be the strongest MOVE
album, most likely because they took Message from the Country, cut out
the filler songs and replaced them with Chinatown, Tonight,
on the Bay,
California Man and the shoulda been #1 hit
Ya, all great pop-rock songs. In the meantime Roy, Bev and Jeff became
Electric light Orchestra, a concept that went beyond the Move and was based
upon Roy's ability to play a large variety of instruments reasonably well.
Their first album features Bev on drums, Jeff on piano and guitar and Roy
on guitar, cello, violin, fench horn, clarinet, oboe and just about any
instrument one might find in a real orchestra and several that one wouldn't.
The album did not sell and Roy, for reasons unknown but can only be assumed
had to do with the proverbial 'difference in opinion about the musical
direction of the band', split. Once Roy was out the band took the road
to pop stardom using Jeff's ability to write songs that had simple pop
hooks, yet lent themselves to orchestration. They also brought in several
excellent musicians to play the instruments Roy had abandoned and then
had one hit after another in the mid-seventies and early eighties until
they quietly disappeared. To me they were like Fleetwood Mac or Bad Company,
respected musicians who said "to hell with this let's make some money"
and created music pandering to the musically challenged masses: the same
people who had bought Peter Frampton's Live double album. I knew their
songs from hearing them at parties or skipping past them on my car radio
and while I stopped following the exploits of the group my favorite band
had metamorphosized into, I had to admit that the Jeff Lynne vision of
able to do on stage what the Beatles could only do in the studio was
a solid idea. And while I was not a fan I had to respect Jeff Lynne since
everyone else seemed to and ELO was a lot better than Bad Company (which
my other favorite band FREE had metamorphosized into to my horror).
do I fit in? Why would I make a website dedicated to a band I did not give
a shit about?
you should ask.......
||My former musical partner, Parthenon Huxley,
who I had played with in various good and lousy bands since I was in 9th
grade in Greece and up through the early eighties in Chapel Hill when we
played in the Dads, auditioned and was asked to join the reformed ELO Part
Two. (The name is a compromise after ages of legal wrangling between Bev
Bevan the new leader of the group, and Jeff Lynne who was afraid any musical
misadventures might tarnish his reputation in Cleveland or wherever the
Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame is). Since I had turned Parth on to the Move and
in a way had some minor influence on his distinguished musical career,
I felt like a proud father who's son had just joined the NY Yankees to
play 1st base, taking the place of the not quite immortal Joe Pepitone.
(The analogy works in a way because Parth is actually replacing the guy
who replaced Jeff Lynne). Sure the band had not made a record or had a
hit in about 15 years, but they were filling concert halls in Latvia and
Estonia and there were people who love the band in the way that deadheads
love Jerry and the boys. Maybe not as many of them, but enough to fill
the Copa Room at the Sands Casino in Atlantic city.
And that's how the